Decorating & Design

January 8, 2013

Terrariums: My Kind Of Houseplant

I’m not a plant person. Flowers, yes, but plants are another story. They can be messy and high-maintenance, and up until recently I’ve always owned a cat, who without fail makes any plant its favourite play-toy.

However, I do enjoy the life and dimension plants can bring to a home. A terrarium is a perfect — and very pretty — compromise. Over the last year terrariums have been popping up all over in a variety of stylish spherical incarnations.

Geodesic Terrarium. $295. At Restoration Hardware.

Traditional terrariums consist of a larger, enclosed glass space meant for keeping plants and insects for research and observation purposes. A subtype of the vivarium, a terrarium is meant to simulate a dry environment, such as a desert or woodland habitat.

My interest in them is less scientific, more decorative. You can still use traditional materials like soil, pebbles and dry vegetation, but opt for silk versions if you want super low-maintenance (like me!).

Glass Cloche Tabletop Terrarium. $30. At Chapters and Indigo.

This glass enclosure elevates its contents, making it an object of wonder, much like the exotic curios collected by the upper class in Renaissance Europe. Use some dry moss and a few flowers or any mix of plants and decorative items. A smaller one can be used as part of a vignette on a coffee table or sideboard. Use a larger cloche or geometric style terrarium as a stunning table centerpiece.

Glass Terrarium & Wood Base. $50. At West Elm.

The mango wood pedestal base sets this one apart from the rest.

Borris Hurricane-Terrarium. $87. At Crate & Barrel.

If you’re not ready to fully commit to the trend, try something in a hurricane style. You can always place a candle in there instead if you change your mind.

Hanging Glass Terrarium. $7. At CB2.

These small hanging terrariums would be great clustered together on a patio for spring and summer.

One of these is definitely on my must-have list for 2013. Now, just to choose one and give my faux green thumb some practice!

Watch a video on how to create your own plant displays.

Photo credits:
1. Restoration Hardware
2. Chapters and Indigo
3. West Elm
4. Crate & Barrel
5. CB2